releasing a game in parts

shileka

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so, i'm working with the lite version (due to having no money) and the limitations can mostly be worked around with using some creativity, the only wall i (temporarily) hit it the max of 30 enemy battlers, i plan to work around this by creating 4 or 5 stages of gameplay before creating an all new game to continue in

i just wanted to know, what is the reaction to this? if this is greatly disliked then i'll probably just scrap the idea, if not, well, then i'll continue working i guess

FYI i can only work on my game once a week, and visiting this forum has the same weekly limit, so don't expect me to answer fast of soon, sorry
 

Andar

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It always depends on the reason for the chapter splitting.


A lot of people are against it because several big publisher used that as a method to have the players pay more for the content - but if you release the parts for free (as required by Lite), then that is no problem.


And especially if you mention that the chapters were created with the Lite version, most people in the RM community will understand why you couldn't make it a single game.


That said - a serialisation needs a different handling for climax and drama - if I remember correctly there is a blog post or tutorial about that, and you should read that before writing your story.


Just splitting the chapters based on when you'll need new enemies will NOT work.
 

Nirwanda

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Master of the wind was a really popular game that was released episodically and people were understanding of it, so you don't have to worry about it.

BTW, the blog post Andar mentioned is this one: http://blog.rpgmakerweb.com/tips-and-tricks/episodic-games/

It explains the nuances of episodic gaming pretty well.
 
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13thSecret

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As a player, if I was browsing and I noticed that the series was episode 1/3 or something, I'll pass since it's a safe bet that the maker will vanish in the meantime unless he/she has a proven track record of completing games. Here's a measuring stick: Squeenix with lots of games under the belt and a full staff vs. random guy I don't know who only has time for one day a week to put in game development. I'm betting that whatever is left in the multi-part Kingdom Hearts games will finish completion over whatever you're making.

In my opinion, the smart thing if you're not established and you have to work in the Lite limitations is to complete all the games as necessary, and then release it all at once. I might be peeved at having to do a bit more unpacking, but I know that there's at least a full experience awaiting. Oh sure, publishing periodically would probably give the game more exposure since there's more excuse to update, but if you fail to deliver the remaining games, that's a brutal hit to your credibility.
 

taistelusopuli

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I don't have anything against episodic games. I think it is a great idea and when made right, it can be a wonderful experience. A good cliffhanger adds a nice amount of excitement to the story. At the same time a bad cliffhanger or an episode without that much meaningful content is always a bit downer. So make sure you do it well and there is no problem at all. :)

Like 13thSecret expressed his concern of you finishing the game, I share that too. To make sure you have better chances to finishing what you started, I'd encourage you to finish the story first. Especially if you are working by yourself. Have a schedule to work with and stick to it. I'd recommend also finishing the whole thing and then release the episodes one by one with decent gap.
 

Clord

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It's commercial game series?


In that case, I would say that you should be extremely clear on your store page very early on that it's an episodic game and probably do additional parts as DLC.


Telltale Games lately got much negative publicity due Minecraft: Story Mode making people to think that they paid just for the first episode on PC.
 

Andar

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No matter if commercial or not - the best way for an episodic game by a new developer is to have half the chapters at minimum (75% would be better) available at game launch.


It just isn't done this way often because most publishers can't pay for that development, they need the funds from Chapter-1-sales to continue the work. And that simply doesn't work as easy as it did when the concept was first tried out. If a developer doesn't have the funds to produce a full series, then going to chapters often dooms the series as most people won't order until they can see at least some of the later chapters are ready.
 
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Clord

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One thing I have learned from this community that people don't like to spend on their freeware projects (generally.)


Anyway it has nothing to do with this discussion at hand so yeah, my point still stands?
 

shileka

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hey guys, thanks for the feedback, as mentioned releasing parts of an incomplete games is a bit of a dickish move so i won't be doing that, especially given the time limit i have for working on it, it would just be unfair

i'm also going to say it's absolutely not going to be a commercial game series, i'm way too new to this to even think that'd be justified (i also think the lite version doesn't even allow that?)

and thanks Andar and Nirwanda, i'll read the blog, i can only improve :)
 

Ed19

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I'm against a game in parts, because I've experienced that on my first game. IF the first game is not successful, it's hard to promote the second game, you'll lose your motivation too. I would rather to have a 60 hours game rather than 20x3 hours games.
 

Milennin

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It adds an additional barrier, making it easier for players to drop your game after finishing a part. Especially if they weren't too impressed with it and since they didn't pay anything for it, they might not bother getting the additional parts.

For a commercial project, I wouldn't buy episodic games unless it has been finished from begin to end.
 

DarknessFalls

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a game in parts is something I hate. Ive seen this fail over and over again. I wish you the best of luck though
 

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